A collection of tools that allow users to fix and enhance their photos and images
Windows XP / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows 2000 / Windows 8
ArcSoft PhotoStudio is a photo editing and drawing application with many different tools. It is equivalent to some of the better commercial applications, although not completely. The program manages to do a good job of making important tools available without cluttering the entire interface or intimidating new users. Anyone who has used programs like Photoshop over the years will immediately recognize the basic layout and tools. The program is not as fully featured as some other options. It is still powerful enough to allow anyone to edit photos and create impressive results.
The main interface has a line of traditional tools on the left. These include burn and dodge, selection options and drawing tools. The tools operate very well and can provide subtle results. The drawing tools that are available can be customized in a few ways to create unique lines with different levels of transparency. The brushes and airbrushes do not stack or get darker as they are passed over existing lines in a single stroke. This limits the ability of the drawing tools. Most of the other tools like blur, stamp and gradient all operate just as expected.
The right side of the screen contains three different windows by default. The first is a navigation window that makes it easy to move around large images that do not fit on the screen. The second window shows a histogram of the colors in the current photo. The last window shows the layers. Although ArcSoft PhotoStudio does support layers, it is lacking in features like selecting layer modes. Users are limited to adjusting the transparency of the layers, merging layers and locking layers. There are no channels and no way to separate color channels into layer masks. The basic functionality of the layers menu still allows for more options than some other programs.
ArcSoft PhotoStudio really shines when it comes to the enhancements and effects menus. The enhancement menu allows for color adjustments to the entire image. This is where levels, contrast and white balance can all be adjusted. The individual control panels are easy to use and often show the results right away. It is simple to hit cancel if a particular enhancement does not add to the photo. The effects menu contains all the filters. The filters are easily accessible through an effects browser. The browser allows users to choose any filter and apply it to a thumbnail to see how it looks without having to move sequentially through the menu options.
ArcSoft PhotoStudio includes an image browser. The browser can show all the images in a directory as thumbnails. A directory tree view also makes navigating a complex hard drive simpler. The application can perform some complex functions like lacing together pictures to create a panoramic shot or a high dynamic range image. ArcSoft PhotoStudio is a good choice for people who want a simple yet powerful program for editing images. It might not appeal to people with experience editing complex photos.